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Author Chelsea Legay
Chelsea Legay
Updated on Sep 28th, 2023
Fact checked by Deborah Leigh

Blue Apron vs. Sunbasket 2023: Savings or Variety?

Blue Apron and Sunbasket are both hugely popular meal delivery services, but they have several key differences. Blue Apron delivers easy-to-follow restaurant-quality meal kits for couples and small families. The cuisine is standard American with globally-inspired twists, and its per serving prices are reasonable, particularly for larger orders.

Sunbasket is pricier but offers more organic ingredients and a larger entree menu. Both companies prioritize responsibly-sourced ingredients, but Sunbasket takes the cake for its menu variety and high-quality add-ons like fresh pastas and Wagyu burgers.

While both services are among the best in the industry, Blue Apron gets my vote. Its biggest advantage is the restaurant-quality recipes you get for an affordable price point. You can find gourmet meals that are great for a night in and even subscribe to Blue Apron’s wine service that offers wine pairings for the meals you order. It also offers superior customer service.

This was a super close call since both services offer exceptional features and menus. Read on to find out more about each company’s pricing, ingredients, packaging, menu variety, and more. 

At a Glance: Who Won Each Category?

💲 Price:

Blue Apron ($5.74 per serving)

🍔 Menu Variety:

Sunbasket (30 choices per week)

⏰ Prep Time:

It’s a tie (5 to 45 minutes)

🍴 Customization:

Sunbasket (7 dietary options)

👍 Ordering and Delivery

Blue Apron

🙋 Customer Support:

Blue Apron 

Menu Variety

Winner: Sunbasket

Sunbasket offers about 30 entree options each week, while Blue Apron offers about 19. This is significantly fewer for those who appreciate recipe variety, which is one of Sunbasket’s strengths. Both services offer similar cuisine of familiar American dishes with international spins, but Sunbasket offers more globally-inspired options, while Blue Apron leans more American.

plated a Blue Apron cheeseburger and roasted potatoes
You'll find more familiar American favorites on Blue Apron's menu, but each has culinary flare like the pimento slaw on this cheeseburger.

Sunbasket’s menu includes Mediterranean, Asian, Moroccan, Indian, and European inspiration. Each dish is thoughtfully curated to reflect the authentic flavors and unique ingredients of these regions. From hearty fresh pasta dishes to zesty stir-fries, Sunbasket ensures a culinary variety with which many meal delivery services can’t compete.

plate of spicy chicken breast with kale salad and two salads
Case-in-point -- this Baharat Chicken with wilted kale and tzatziki salad is a prime example of Sunbasket's globally-inspired recipes.

But both Blue Apron and Sunbasket offer more than just dinner. Blue Apron has an optional monthly wine subscription, as well as an online marketplace where you can buy kitchen utensils, signature spice blends, and fun extras like the Blue Apron cookbook and a blue apron.

In addition to dinner, Sunbasket is a bit of a one-stop shop for all meals of the day. With breakfast, lunch, and snack options, as well as grocery items like fresh pasta, cheeses and cured meats, fresh and pre-cooked proteins, plant-based proteins, and heat-and-eat breakfasts, Sunbasket covers your daily menu and some.

Sunbasket is also like a mini deli with 35+ high-quality meat, seafood, and plant-based options. You’ll find plenty of organic, grass-fed, wild-caught, and Black Angus options, including Wagyu burger and wild Gulf shrimp. Vegetarians and vegans will also find plant-based proteins like Impossible burger and Daring chicken. Blue Apron only offers a few protein add-ons weekly.

grass-fed, organic NY strip steaks and a package of Impossible Burger plant-based protein
Sunbasket offers a modern deli selection including animal-based and plant-based proteins.

Both menus offer microwavable meals, and I think Subasket’s look more inviting. Recipe variety also changes more frequently than Blue Apron’s changes. You’ll find options like chicken and eggplant tagine with spiced almonds, or spiced chicken and potatoes in Hungarian red pepper sauce. Blue Apron’s are more standard flavors like enchiladas and chicken stir fry.

bowl of chicken tagine with dried apricots and veggies
Even Sunbasket's microwavable meals will keep adventurous palates interested with complex recipes like tagines and curries.

Though Blue Apron doesn’t win for variety, its Market selection of Signature Spices is note-worthy. Few popular meal delivery services curate their own spice mixes, let alone sell them to the public. Each week, you’ll find about 10 spice blends in the Pantry section of the Market.

8 jars of Blue Apron's signature spice blends
Blue Apron's SIgnature Spice blends range from Cajun to Za'atar, and are a great way to cook with new flavors.

If eating organic is your priority, Sunbasket is a great choice. It has USDA-certified organic produce available 99% of the time. While you’ll find the occasional organic option on Blue Apron’s menu, Sunbasket simply offers more organic options.

On both menus, you’ll find plenty of antibiotic- and hormone-free meat, free-range poultry, and more, since both services focus on sourcing from family-run farms with the highest animal welfare and sustainability practices.

Meal Customization

Winner: Sunbasket

Sunbasket doesn’t let you customize recipes, but it caters to a number of allergies and restrictions – an area where Blue Apron falls short. You can also choose from a large selection of 30+ proteins as bases for building your own meals or enhancing what you’ve ordered.

You’ll find 8 diet accommodations, including vegan, paleo, <600 calories, and gluten-free, with multiple weekly recipes for each diet. This makes the menu super accessible and great for adventurous eaters with specific diets. The menu is curated so that each recipe can accommodate several dietary restrictions simultaneously, like paleo, gluten-free, and soy-free.

bowl of spinach-grape salad with meatballs
Each recipe is thoughtfully curated to accommodate as many dietary restrictions as possible.

You can further curate your meal selection with 15 preferences, like low carb, low sodium, low-sugar added, avoid dairy, avoid soy, and avoid pork. You can only select 1 diet at a time, but you can select multiple preferences at a time. If there are zero or few recipe selections, Sunbasket recommends similar recipes that might work for you.

Sunbasket's recommended recipes for low-carb, keto-friendly, low-calorie, low added sugar.
For people like myself who monitor several dietary restrictions, Sunbasket's menu is so easy to navigate and adjust as needed.

Blue Apron offers more mainstream dietary accommodations. You’ll find a Vegetarian menu and a Wellness menu with 0 to 2 options of recipes tagged “Carb Conscious”, “600 Calories or Less”, “Vegetarian”, “Wellness Grains”, or “Pescatarian”, but you won’t find common allergen accommodation like you will on Sunbasket’s menu.

Blue Apron’s menu is solid for the standard American diet, with 19 balanced meals on the signature Chef Favorites plan and around 5 options each week if you’re vegetarian. You’ll also find plans for Family Friendly meals and Fast & Easy, which features recipes designed to be ready in 30 minutes or less. 

Neither Blue Apron nor Sunbasket offers many ways to customize individual meals. Blue Apron occasionally gives you the option to swap out a protein (switching ground beef for Beyond Burger, for example), but little else. You can omit some proteins when you sign up.

Blue Apron's protein substitutions for a meal
Blue Apron only rarely lets you switch up the protein in your dishes, but it's better than nothing.

Ordering, Delivery, Unboxing

Winner: Blue Apron

Blue Apron wins because its shipping and delivery operations are carbon neutral. For those of you concerned about carbon emissions produced by your meal delivery service – you won’t have to worry when ordering from Blue Apron. The company isn’t yet focused on reducing emissions but instead invests in carbon offset projects to balance its emissions.

Otherwise, ordering from both services is straightforward, and both let you choose delivery days! Choosing delivery days is one of the best features meal delivery services can offer, which both allow. 

You can choose 4 to 20 meals from either service and select a few customizations for each plan, as mentioned in a previous section. Options are clearly labeled for you as you check out, and so is your total price including shipping.

Blue Apron delivers to the continental US. As with most meal delivery services, some zip codes in more remote areas aren’t covered. However, both services have been in operation around a decade and have well-established delivery operations to most zip codes. Unfortunately, both services require that you enter an email to check your zip code.

Sunbasket’s delivery options are more limited. The company doesn’t ship to AK, HI, MT, ND, and parts of NM. However, this is pretty standard for most meal delivery services since the majority don’t deliver to Alaska or Hawaii, or more remote areas.

Blue Apron also offered me a wider range of delivery days than Sunbasket. For me, Blue Apron shipments are available Monday to Saturday, while Sunbasket delivery days were only Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday. Still, having multiple delivery day options is great.

Once your order ships for either service, you can track it via the apps or email. You can also receive notifications for delivery updates via email or via mobile push notifications.

The Sunbasket delivery change request deadline is Wednesday at 12:00pm PST for all orders, regardless of your delivery day. 

Blue Apron’s delivery change request deadline depends on your delivery day. It’s typically 5 to 7 days before your next week’s delivery day. You’ll find your change request deadline when you log in to your account.

an example of a Blue Apron change request deadline
Blue Apron's deliveries are flexible, but require that you carefully note your change request deadline.

Both companies package your ingredients in recyclable cardboard boxes with ice packs and insulated liners to maintain freshness. While it’s recommended that you refrigerate your order as soon as you receive it, it’s not the end of the world if you’re not home when it’s delivered, as everything should stay cold. 

According to its website, more than 85% of Blue Apron’s packaging is recyclable, and you’ll find plenty of instructions on the website about how to recycle each packaging item. Factor in Blue Apron’s carbon neutrality and this is a great service for those of you who prioritize being friendly to the environment.

Sunbasket’s packaging materials are all reusable, compostable, or recyclable (depending on your zip code), and most are created from recycled materials. So while Sunbasket and Blue Apron have comparable packing material recyclability, Blue Apron wins since it's carbon neutral.

Sunbasket's tips for reusing and recycling jars and containers
It was a nice touch for Sunbasket to include both reusing and recycling information.

Meal Prep

Winner: It’s a tie

Both services offer microwavable meals and kits with a prep range of 5 to 45 minutes. With Sunbasket, you’ll find at least 10 meal kit recipes each week labeled “Meal Kit – Speedy” that take 20 minutes or less, or you can filter the menu by <20 minutes. Blue Apron offers the “Fast and Easy” plan of meals that take 30 minutes or less to prep.

Sunbasket's quick prep meals
I do wish I could see the exact cooking times from this page. Blue Apron does a good job with that.

Blue Apron offers 6 prepared meals and Sunbasket offers 10 meals each week. You’ll also see fewer repeated recipes on Sunbasket’s microwavable meals menu titled “Fresh & Ready.” However, for meal kit-centric services, offering any microwavable meals is a bonus.

Microwavable meals for both services take 4 or 5 minutes to heat and require zero prep, cooking, or clean up. All you have to do is pop the containers in the microwave or preheat your oven and cook your meal in an oven-safe tray.

Blue Apron’s prepared meals are extras, while Sunbasket’s are on the main menu. That means you can only get Blue Apron’s microwavable meals if you order its meal kits as well. Considering Blue Apron’s per serving price is lower, this isn’t much of a drawback.

Customer Support

Winner: Blue Apron

Blue Apron’s live chat customer support wins, even though it’s less available. Blue Apron’s live chat or phone line customer support hours are: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm ET Monday to Friday, and 11:00am to 5:00 pm ET Saturdays. You can also email, use the Blue Apron chat bot, or explore its extensive and easily searchable FAQs.

Blue Apron agents were friendly and knowledgeable of the menu and how plans work. Plus, the live chat window followed me through all pages as I browsed different plans, FAQs, and Market products. This made it easy to ask any questions I had as they came up.

Sunbasket live chat customer support is available 7 days per week, Monday to Friday from 6am to 8pm PT and weekends from 6am to 1pm PT, excluding some public holidays. However, it’s less supportive than Blue Apron’s. 

The live chat was more confusing than helpful. I chatted with 5 different agents, but they gave me differing information. For example, one agent told me that grocery items are part of your 10 meal maximum order, while another told me grocery items are extras.

Plus, you must stay on the Help & Contact page to continue live chatting. This isn’t a big deal since you can easily open the live chat box in a new window, but it isn’t great if you’re accessing the site or your account on your mobile device.

Blue Apron’s FAQs are also far more searchable and detailed than Sunbasket’s, so that you rarely have to reach out to a live agent. There are plenty of how-tos like a detailed step-by-step of how to cancel your account. And neither company requires that you contact customer service to cancel.

Having accessible, knowledgeable, detailed customer service sets Blue Apron apart. Regardless of the menu variety, customization, and extras on the menu, having reliable customer support when something is wrong with your order is the most important feature of a meal delivery service.


Winner: Blue Apron

Blue Apron’s per serving prices for meal kits are lower than Sunbasket’s. Per serving prices for Blue Apron start at $5.74 when you order 18 meals, which is the maximum number of meals you can order each week. Sunbasket’s per serving prices start at $9.99 but vary per recipe.

Blue Apron’s per meal prices decrease as you order more meals, and Sunbasket’s don’t. Sunbasket prices meals by recipe, with per serving prices reaching up to around $15 or more. 

You’ll also find higher priced recipes on Blue Apron’s menu labeled “Premium”, which are typically $15 and up per serving. You’ll see the price per serving when you click on the recipe card on the main menu. While Premium meals are similarly priced to Sunbasket’s meals, the majority of the main menu is more affordable than Sunbasket’s.

Microwavable meals for both services are priced the same, starting at about $10 per serving. But keep in mind that Sunbasket prices each recipe differently. You’ll see the per serving price after you’ve selected your meals for the week, and before you check out.

Shipping for Blue Apron is $10.99 per week, and Sunbasket’s is $9.99 per box. When you check out, you’ll see how many boxes in which your order will arrive. Sunbasket’s shipping can add up pretty quickly the more you order. The service includes about 4 servings per box, so you’ll pay at least $19.98 if you’re ordering more than that.

Sunbasket's boxes per order icons
Keep an eye on this quantity since shipping is $9.99 per box and can add up quickly.

Features Comparison: Blue Apron vs. Sunbasket


Best for

Omnivores, Vegetarians, Calorie-Conscious eaters

Omnivores, Vegetarians, Clean eaters, 

Starting price



Shipping cost



Minimum order

4 meals per week

4 meals per week

Menu variety

25 choices per week

30+ choices per week

Prep time

2 to 50 minutes

4 to 45 minutes

Low-prep options


Oven-ready, microwave-ready

Allergies catered to


Dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free

Special diets

Vegetarian, Calorie-Conscious

Paleo-friendly, Keto-friendly, <600 calories, Diabetes-friendly, Vegan, Protein-conscious

Customer support

Live chat and phone customer support 6 days per week, email

Live chat and phone customer support 7 days per week, email


Enjoy $150 off across your first 6 orders

No active deal

And The Winner Is: Blue Apron

Blue Apron is the winner of this comparison for its better price and customer service. While you won’t find as many organic ingredients as you will on Sunbasket’s menu, you’ll find plenty of products from family-run farms that only use sustainable and humane practices. You can read more about Blue Apron’s high-quality ingredients in our full review.

Blue Apron is great for singles, couples, or small families wanting to reduce meal prep and to avoid grocery shopping. Despite Blue Apron’s affordable price point, you’ll receive restaurant-quality recipes with Blue Apron’s custom seasonings, as well as plenty of upgrade options, useful kitchen utensils, and super easy follow-along step-by-step instructions great for chefs of any skill level.

Having reliable customer service means having a more reliable meal delivery experience, which Blue Apron knocks out of the park. And what’s the purpose of ordering from a meal delivery service in the first place – increased weekly convenience.


Are Blue Apron meals already cooked?

Blue Apron’s main entree meals are not pre-cooked, but you can find heat-and-eat meals on the add-ons menu. When ordering from the main menu, you receive a box containing fresh ingredients, along with step-by-step recipes. This service is designed to help you enjoy the experience of cooking while minimizing prep time and eliminating the need to shop for individual ingredients.

Which is better: Blue Apron or Sunbasket?

Blue Apron is more affordable, while Sunbasket is better for organic produce and variety. Blue Apron also excels at customer service with knowledgeable, responsive live chat customer service agents. Both offer high-quality ingredients, diverse meal options, and fun extras.  

Does Sunbasket offer microwavable meals?

Yes, Sunbasket does offer microwavable meals. These are part of its "Fresh & Ready'' meals, designed to be convenient and time-saving. These meals are prepared and only require heating before eating, making them a great choice if you're pressed for time.  

Is Sunbasket 100% organic?

Sunbasket is committed to providing 100% organic produce. However, not all components of every meal are certified organic. For example, the seafood is wild-caught, and the meat is antibiotic and hormone-free but not necessarily organic. This approach ensures a balance between quality, sustainability, and taste.

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